Reviewed by Joan Stradling for TeensReadToo.com
Two brothers, a magic mirror, an enchanted world, and dark magic determined to destroy everything.
Mirrorworld's treasures and secrets have always been a welcome escape for Jacob Reckless. When his younger brother follows him through the mirror and is cursed by dark magic, Jacob has to save him. But saving his brother might cost him everything.
This gripping tale of sacrifice and love is sure to become a favorite for many readers. Funke does an excellent job of creating life-like characters and an amazing world full of magic and danger. You never know what you'll get when you turn the page.
As a lover of Grimm's fairy tales, I couldn't help but fall in love with Jacob and Will Reckless. Finding references to characters and settings from Grimm tales only made me love it more. I hope this isn't the last I get to read of Jacob Reckless.
Very well-written and excellent book. Interesting plot, and good pace. I've read other books by Ms. Funke, and like her others, it does not disappoint.
I got a copy an advanced reading copy of this book through bookitforwardtours. I have previously read Funke's Dragon Rider (liked it a lot) and Thief Lord (thought it was okay). I have her Inkheart series to read but haven't read it yet. So I was eager to read something new from her. This was a good book, I think it was darker than her other books and meant for a more mature audience (young adult vs. children). Those who like books dealing with fairy tales will love this one.
When Jacob Reckless was a boy he found a mirror that could take him to another world; a world he grew to prefer to his own. Now he is older and this time, his brother Will follows him through the mirror. But something horrible happens and Will is injured in an awful way. Jacob starts on a relentless search through this fairy world to find a way to make his brother Will better and to keep Will from becoming the very enemy Jacob fights.
This book is darker than the previous Funke books I have read. More at a young adult level than a children's level. The other world that Jacob enters through the mirror is a world at war and is the embodiment of many dark fairy tales. There are many dangers in this other world, and the characters are forced to face many of them.
Funke does an excellent job describing and creating this world based on fairy tales. She does a good job making it realistic and keeping the pace of the book fast. There is a lot of adventure and fighting in here, as well as some politics to be dealt with. I love fairy tale retellings and enjoyed all the references throughout the book to various fairy tales.
Where I thought the book was lacking was in characterization. Jacob you can understand, but he is not a likable character at all. I never really felt like I sympathized with him and the hard decisions he had to make; but he was interesting. Fox, Jacob's companion, was a much better character. I really felt for her and liked her the best of all of the characters in this book. My biggest problem characters were Will and Clara (Will's girlfriend); neither of these character ever seemed to gain life in the story, they are pretty two dimensional...almost like paper cutouts moving through the plot.
The main point of the story is wrapped up well, but there are a lot of little threads left dangling...I am guessing we can expect a sequel to this book.
Overall I enjoyed the story. I think people who like dark fairy tale retellings will enjoy the mish-mash of fairy tale references throughout. The book is darker than the previous Funke novels I have read. The world is wonderful and the adventure non-stop. The characters are a bit weak though, you never really are drawn to them all that much. I liked it enough that if a sequel is written I will probably get it and read it.
I was excited to read this as I liked Funke's other books. Alas, this one really dropped the ball for me!
For one thing, the main protagonist makes ALL the decisions - for everyone. He also lies to everyone so that they'll go along and do it his way. The female characters in these books don't show any independence or any power in their own right. Often, they're either manhandled by the main protagonist or the main protagonist has someone else "keep an eye" on them or force them (using physical force) to stay where he wants them. Add to that the sexist comments made by the dwarf who accompanies Jacob (main protagonist) everywhere.
I wouldn't recommend this to the younger crowd. Simply because of the treatment of women in this book.
In terms of plot ... well, this kind of fell apart for me. The plot had the potential to be really fantastic, but, in the end, Jacob seemed to just drop the ball and mess everyone's lives up in the process.
I wasn't a fan of Jacob, so towards the end, I was kind of hoping someone would kill him already. It's not a good book when you want the main protagonist to die.
If there is a sequel, I won't be reading it.